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Residents Use Scare Tactics: Numbers Refute Resident Claims Concerning Cerritos Library Cards

Picture courtesy Babble.com

 

BY BRIAN HEWS

A group of angry Cerritos residents, who have been using several anonymous Facebook pages to advance outright lies, are now circulating false messages on social media in an attempt to mislead residents after the Cerritos City Council, on a 4-1 vote, allowed Bellflower Unified students to have free Cerritos Library cards.

An annual card from the library cost $100.

The residents argued that the initial 4-1 vote was illegal and then used blatant scare tactics saying that “all 12,000 Bellflower Unified students will sign up for free cards and cost the City $1.2 million.”

Their first argument, that the Council vote was illegal, was refuted by City Attorney Mark Steres, who indicated at a Council meeting that the vote was completely above-board.

Defeated, the residents then took to social media in several questionable posts writing that “all 12,000 Bellflower students would sign up for free cards and cost the City $1.2 million.”

In a typical social media post fashion, no back-up was provided, another clear move by the residents to discredit the four who voted for the cards and advance their own political agenda, which is decidedly Republican.

Mayor Mark Pulido, and Council persons Frank Yokoyama and Grace Hu voted for the free cards; Mayor pro tem Naresh Solanki, a registered Republican surprised many by voting for the cards; Jim Edwards a former teacher and a product of Bellflower Unified, voted no.

Surprisingly, even Cerritos resident Elaine Shiohama wrote falsehoods.

Shiohama was found by HMG-LCCN in 2014 – along with other Cerritos Fine Art and Historical Commission members – spending thousands flying across the country staying in hotels and eating fine meals just to choose artwork for the City.

Cerritos Commissioners Attend Lavish Miami ‘Sculpture Symposium’

 

Shiohama wrote on Facebook, “This is essentially a gift of $1.2 million to the BUSD district from the city. It is not fiscally responsible to give a gift of this size especially since not long ago the residents were threatened with budget cuts that would have restricted library access.”

 

 

But a simple examination by HMG-LCCN of the individual categories for Cerritos library card holders show that the resident’s claims of “costing millions” is patently false.

Cerritos allows residents and certain other categories to obtain free cards, even allowing people who stay at the Sheraton Cerritos to have a free card.

Property owners, employees of the City, Cerritos Colleges employees and students, people who work in Cerritos, ABCUSD employees, resident and non-resident students, and active duty military personnel who are permanent or temporary residents of California can get a library card without charge as well.

The residents never complained about these groups receiving free access until the council voted to give Bellflower students access;and they failed to look at the numbers behind the cards.

The library card numbers from the City show that out of the 19,640 library card holders, 16,454, or 83% are Cerritos residents.

There are almost 50,000 residents in Cerritos meaning that over 33,000 residents, or 66%, do not take advantage of one of the most prestigious libraries in the nation that is right in their backyard.

And in another scratch-your-head type number, nearly 12,000 out of the 19,640, or 61%, card holders are over 18.

But in what will be a surprise to many, including the angry residents, of the 19,640 library cards only 295, or 1.5%, are actually paid, meaning 98.5% of the library cards are free.

That is $1.9 million in free cards.

Delving deeper into the numbers show that the policy to give Bellflower students cards will not affect the library, a fact that the residents could have found with a little research.

Of the 295 paid cards (1.5% of the total), only eight, or 2.7%, are classified as child or young adults; that is 2.7% of 1.5%

Given those numbers, only five additional children from Bellflower would sign up for free library cards.

Finally the residents’ claims of “the library will be overcrowded if we allow Bellflower students into our library” are once again refuted by the students who attend ABC schools but are not residents of Cerritos.

The numbers show that only 532 non-resident students in the ABC system have free library cards: 312 from 18 different ABC elementary schools; 58 from the middle schools; and 101 from high schools obtained a free card.

Cerritos Library cardholder number from the city of Cerritos.

 

 

 

 

 

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Former retired mayor said it best: “ These Council who voted this through, are looking for their own personal financial gain, they all have some ghostly Financial-political interests, to bring in Bellflower” … This has nothing to do with Garcia or anybody else, this is purely real estate transaction . With the new district lines in question in 2020, it was now or never. Agree, it should have been put on agenda and open to more public comment, instead of in-house friends only. Prefer to have items up front, will see who jumps ship mid term! Ring around the posse,… Read more »